The Craft of Brewing
Brewery, Brew on Premise
Disclaimer: Due to the incredibly unique platform of this particular location, Brewdoun will not be held liable for any future addictions or obsessions that may occur due to our representation of this particular establishment. Many are given to the belief that TCOB (The Craft of Brewing) is a gateway drug locale for beer drinkers, especially first time users as it is easy and fun for all. Repeat and avid use is expected. Enter with caution…
If you’ve ever wanted to give brewing your own craft beer a try but you felt, perhaps, intimidated or uncertain...
You really need to meet Douglas Travers and his crew over at The Craft of Brewing.
Also known as Travis, the CEO of the establishment is unaware that he has earned himself a new nickname. After I spent an afternoon enjoying his hospitality, I quickly decided that he was a man of the people and The Robin Hood of Beer.
His vision was simple but pure. “Beer is beer,” he told me. “I just want to bring people together to brew on premise.”
Sounds like a modern day, Robin Hood, Prince of Grains, to me! He’s all about putting it back in the hands of regular folks.
Photograph by Matt Leonard
So how does one come up with such an innovative idea: Brewing on premise with a tap wall full of craft beer? Back in 2010 Travis was brewing in his garage while his engineer’s brain was constantly working to find the best way to homebrew. When he stumbled onto the Speidel system invented by the Germans, he felt it was too good to not share with the world.
Once Travis decided to launch his idea, his wife, Chitra Sivanandam, played an instrumental role in helping to lay out a solid business plan. (Where would he be without his Maid Marian of course? Stay with me people… This particular heroine has a finance degree and background in engineering.) The pair worked together to finance the project and after looking at several properties, in August of 2016 they signed the lease on what would become TCOB. In October of 2017 they took possession of Beerwood Forest and now they lavish the land with their golden rivers of beer upon all that seek its sweet nectar.
Okay…I might be getting a bit carried away, but you all get the idea.
If you want to try brewing your own beer for the first time, many friends await you at TCOB. Brewing on premise is so simple and fun and you have the added pride of knowing it’s your unique recipe.
The possibilities are endless. As Travis says, “It’s easy and enjoyable. You feel like you’re in elementary school.”
Well said. Who doesn’t want to feel like a kid again for a day? Play with ingredients and puff their chest out to all their friends? Lookie what I made?
It’s as easy as one-two-three.
Step one: Pick out your recipe and customize it. What type of beer do you like? Are you into those IPA’s or stouts and porters? Do you enjoy ales or lagers or something Belgian or German? So many options!
Step two: Put your grain through the grinder, program the Spiedel according to your recipe, and add your grain. **Don’t worry an employee will be there to help!
Cue the waiting period in which you enjoy playtime while your brew cooks. All good elementary schools have playgrounds. TCOB is no different so read on…
Step three: Remove grain and return to boil (Some recipes may have hops additions.) **Once the final boiling stage is complete, you transfer your product through a chiller into the fermenter. Your beer will have to ferment for a while before it will be drinkable. TCOB will keep it safe till it’s ready!
What to do, what to do? The location has thought of everything with entertainment built in for customers. There are pool tables and shuffleboards on sight and if kids are in attendance there are plenty of games and toys. Let’s not forget the boast worthy tap wall at The Craft of Brewing.
So much beer…
It’s like being at a candy store for adults with too many options. But don’t worry folks, you have plenty of time to sample all twenty craft beers while you’re specialized brew is boiling.
The Craft of Beer - Beer wall
Photograph by Matt Leonard
Valentine’s Chocolate Stout was a happy accident with 4 pounds of chocolate malt in the recipe. This stout was creamy with extra chocolate flavor throughout and a definite customer favorite. It is highly recommended by Brewdoun’s Chief Flight Taster, Matt Leonard. Also a favorite of his was the Raccoon Wil IPA with six hop editions, start to finish, surprisingly smooth, and the London Brown Ale with a pleasant bread taste.
I had some time to chat with the Brewer, Bret Kimbrough, with a nomadic background and vast job experience. He learned the art of home brewing with his dad. When he went away to college, Little Apple Brewing Company in Kansas hired him. At 23 years young, he had already landed his first Head Brewing position.
So here’s my question: what does a Geology Major (changed to Physical Science) with a Pastry Degree and ten years as a bread baker create? Hella-gorg beer, my friends.
As a brewer with a more classic style, he is currently working on a Czech Dark Lager and a Brown Biere de Garde, but I had the delight of trying his Dunkelweizen. I’m not typically a Hefe girl but the even notes of this craft brew were incredibly palatable.
As if this isn’t enough incentive to stop by, The Craft of Brewing is just getting started with entertainment. Trivia on Mondays, $2 Tuesdays on select pints, a pool league, a brew club, and did I mention the twenty craft beers on tap…sluuuurp? Check out their Facebook page to stay tuned.
And, you can get growler fills too. Let us do the dance of joy.
Robin Hood, The Prince of Grains commands it. Hehe…
Douglas Travers: CEO/ President
Chitra Sivanandam: CFO/ Operations
Bret Kimbrough: Brewer
Samantha Wiltrout: Floor Manager
Jay Dolas: Brew on premise assistant/ assistant
21140 Ashburn Crossing Drive suite 170, Ashburn, VA 20147